When Charles Freeman withdrew from consideration to chair the National Intelligence Council, the Obama administration “suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lobbyists the president vowed to keep in their place,” writes David Broder of the Washington Post. Freeman boasted “one of the most distinguished international careers in American government,” but that didn’t matter to lawmakers, who ran him off at the behest of pro-Israel and pro-Tibet lobbyists.
The lawmakers fed blogs with inflammatory Freeman remarks, including the labeling of a Tibetan demonstration a “race riot.” But in person, Broder assures readers, Freeman is a low-key, intelligent man with a gift for understanding multiple perspectives. His advice would have made America safer. Instead, “Freeman vanished without a squawk from Obama.”